Dustin Higgs should still be alive.

Give Pervis Payne a fighting chance.

Shain Slepian


Dustin Higgs, a not guilty man murdered by the federal government on 1/15/21

I write this on the evening that Dustin Higgs is to be murdered by the federal government. I only learned his name a few hours ago, and the chill in my blood reminds me that having known it earlier might have made the slightest bit of difference.

According to Twitter, the white vans that signify that the prisoner is being taken to the execution chamber have just started up.

The death of Dustin Higgs signifies a record for the most federal executions committed by a single president in over a hundred years.

This is not a coincidence. Obviously. Like you need me to tell you that flooding the Supreme Court with blood thirsty racists was, in fact, a direct cause of this unjust death.

Like you need me to tell you that an administration that wantonly removes protections for rights to life-saving services for LGBT and disabled people without the slightest pretense of capitalist efficiency does not give a damn about ending lives.

Like you need me to tell you that a president who encourages, and in some case orders, open murder and assault on people demanding accountability for racist homicide by the state simply wants you dead.

Remember. He — the GOP — more than half of the Supreme Court — the police and the people that kill police in his name — all these people —

They want you dead.

And if you are just the right kind of person in just the wrong kind of situation, they will kill you.

That’s why they murdered Dustin Higgs tonight. They simply wanted to.

A little-known fact about our judicial system: in the US, a defendant in a trial is never declared ‘Innocent.’ Never.

The defendant is ruled “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.”

This is for one very good reason. We do not have to determine whether or not a defendant is innocent in a criminal trial. That is not what a trial is for. Our standard of conviction is such that only proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of a crime is sufficient for a guilty verdict.



Shain Slepian

Shain is a screenwriter and screenplay editor. For more content, follow their blog and check out their YouTube channel, TimeCapsule. shainslepian.com/